Here’s a run down on the last week:
Saturday the 19th – the kids had their last day of school before the break. In the evening we had Sam’s birthday party.
Sunday the 20th – Tuesday the 22nd – Stefan and I went on a business trip to Helsinki. The drive down was pretty treacherous, especially the last 150km when it was SNOWING like crazy and the 30km we were stuck behind a snowplow when we couldn’t see anything. On the way home, we stopped at the big mall in Tampere to finish our Christmas shopping but still were unable to complete our lists . . . Again, the snowfall made the drive home extremely difficult. I was so happy when we finally arrived safely home around 8:30pm. Sam’s grandpa took him to town earlier in the day to write his drivers’ license test, which he passed.
Wednesday the 23rd – I went to Vaasa in the afternoon to finish Christmas shopping (I have never been this late before – people who know me IRL know that I am very organized and this is completely out of character for me). It was so frustrating to have things on the list that I couldn’t find ANYWHERE (like G-Force for DS and Star Wars I, II and V). Anyways, the original plan was for both Stefan and I to go, but Joel was sick so Stefan stayed home with the kids. At 5:30, I was heading to the airport to pick up my brother and got the message that they had been unable to make their connection and were waiting in Helsinki for the next available flight (I already knew the plane was late leaving Stockholm and that this was a possibility). So, I waited at the airport for a few hours for Steve, Stefan’s cousin and her husband (who were all on the same flight). Good thing I had found a cheap Sudoku book!
Steve, arriving in Vaasa.
Thursday the 24th – the earlier part of the day was spent showering kids, ironing clothes, doing hair, wrapping gifts, etc. Stefan took Steve to the doctor because he’s sick and needed some antibiotics. At 4pm we went to Stefan’s parents’ house for a traditional Scandinavian Christmas Eve, with most of Stefan’s siblings and their families, which is something like this:
- watching “Kalle Anka” (“From All of Us to All of You”) – a Walt Disney special that first aired on Swedish TV in 1958. The show is one of the most popular shows all year in Sweden. The following shorts are usually shown:
- eating dinner – Christmas food in Finland usually includes: rice porridge sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, baked ham, meatballs, sausages, carrot casserole, rutabaga casserole, several sorts of fish (including herring and stockfish), potatoes, salads, etc.
- waiting for Jultomten (also known simply as ”Tomten”, is the Swedish Father Christmas, who visits houses in the afternoon on Christmas Eve to distribute presents to children.)
This year it was Stefan. (He looks a bit like a lost member of ZZTop . . .)
After, we went home and “chatted” with my Dad on the computer.
The kids played Twister and then went to bed.
Friday the 25th – the kids woke up and were able to see what was in their stockings. When I awoke at 9:30, I first thought how lovely it was to sleep in, and then I panicked when I realized I was cooking turkey for 23 people and needed to get the stuffing started! We hadn’t taken all the gifts over the night before, so the kids waited until I was done with food preparations and then they finally got to open the rest of their presents, the ones that Santa Claus brought and those from family and friends.
Steve’s gifts from Mattias and Joel.
At 5pm we had a traditional North American Christmas dinner, right down to the sweet potato casserole and brussel sprouts!
Saturday the 26th – today has been a day to sleep in and relax. We ate the leftovers from last night’s dinner this afternoon, and now they’re almost all gone.
Hopefully, I’ll soon have some time to catch up on other blogs and emails.
Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!!